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Who Has “Driven Iran’s Economy Crazy”?

Iran's economic crisis

Newspapers from both of Iran’s ruling factions have examined inflation and poverty in every aspect of the devastated economy. In each sentence of their economic articles, there is not a single positive case regarding the economic and living conditions of the people.

Resalat daily wrote on February 17, 2021, quoting the head of the Tehran Chamber, that the price of the dollar had tripled in three years, and that the price of goods had increased 10 times during the same period.

Masoud Khansari, the head of the Tehran Chamber, while pointing to the increase in prices in the last three years, considers that “70 percent” of the problem is “due to internal factors.”

He likened the policies and practices of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani’s government to “a factory for the production of directives” which “has imposed great costs on the consumer.”

Regarding the destruction of Iran’s economy by the heads of the government, the state-run Jahan-e-Sanat daily on February 17, 2021, wrote an article entitled “Iran’s economy has gone mad”:

“The very important question is who, with what intellectual and political orientation, and with what level of expertise, decides and makes this decision that has driven the Iranian economy crazy. It does not seem that these people have deliberately driven the Iranian economy crazy, but it seems that they are benefiting greatly from this situation.”

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The “madness of the Iranian economy” is due to the destruction of production, the closure of factories, the unemployment of workers, and the closure of many jobs, for which the people have to pay exorbitant costs.

People who have many incomes and those who do have incomes do not get one-fifth of their poverty line for a few days.

“Iran’s economy is going crazy” due to the skyrocketing prices and rampant inflation to the point that the prices of items of materials and supplies needed by the people grew by 300 percent, and according to US economics professor Steve Hanke, the annual inflation in Iran is 82.45 percent.

The inflation that destroys the lives of the poor majority of the people and fills the wide pockets of the government officials and their relatives. In this regard, the state-run daily Eghtesad-e-Saramad wrote on February 17, 2021: “Large sections of the population are severely affected by inflation, and the owners of property and goods are gaining huge profits from rising prices and inflation.”

Another aspect of the insanity of the Iranian economy and the poverty of the people is the plundering by the  government officials and their agents, and the intensification of the class divide and the misery caused by it.

According to the report of the Court of Accounts of Iran, “the Gini coefficient has increased and between 2017 and 2019, the situation of income distribution in the country has deteriorated.” (Vatan-e-Amrooz daily, February 17, 2021).

Another major part of the economic problems, poverty and misery of the people is due to the institutional corruption of the government.

Arman daily wrote on February 17, 2021, entitled “The relationship between economic corruption and the misery index”:

“In 1996, the misery index in society was 19.8, and in the same year, Iran was ranked 130th in the world in terms of economic corruption. In 2018, according to official statistics, the misery index was 39 percent, while the rate of economic corruption reached 138.

“The following year, the misery index reached 45.5 percent, and Iran’s ranking continued to decline, with 146 in front of it. ‘In 2021, the index of misery and again, according to official statistics, became 70, and the rank of corruption reached 149 in the world, and this means disaster!”

This situation of economic corruption indicates that the leaders of Iran, on the one hand, are looting the resources and wealth of the people, and the country’s economy is ruined and written by the media affiliated with Rouhani’s faction (Jahan Sanat) is going ‘crazy’.

In such a situation, due to the misery of the economy and people’s livelihood, we still see rising prices and declining purchasing power of the people, so that the middle class is no longer able to provide a living wage and this class is practically pushed to the lower classes.

The writer of the Arman daily explicitly blames the rulers and their children for the looting of the national wealth. It wrote: “The money taken out of Iran, which is spent and given by the ‘Aghazadehs’ (the children of the officials) in other countries, should be sought. The most important damage that embezzlement and its spread in the media cause is a tsunami that undermines social capital and public trust.”

Such a situation is due to the destruction of the economy and its looting and the class divide between the government-affiliated minority and the 96 percent majority of the population, which raises concerns, as a columnist for the state-run Eghtesad-e-Saramad which wrote that, “this trend is strongly leading society to polarization.”

The author’s concern about the polarization of society is that the extremely poor majority of the people are facing the ruling system with its minority and want to overthrow the regime. This conclusion is based on the uprisings and protest movements of the people in recent years, especially the uprising of November 2019, which was a full-fledged mirror of the public will of the Iranian people to overthrow the regime.

An uprising in which the regime, led by the supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), were the main targets of the people’s sharp attack.

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